[WORLDKINGS - Ideastime] Daily Highlights 04 October, 2022 – World’s First Self-Propelled Electric Passenger Ferry Tests Waters In Norway


(Wcsa.world) With self-driving vehicles becoming more common, what about self-propelled travel options on waterways?

A team at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is leading the charge in that aspect, recently trialing what it claims to be the world’s first autonomous electric passenger ferry on an urban waterway.

As ocean levels rise across the globe, needing to travel over water could soon become a more frequent occurrence. And instead of expensive, space-consuming bridges and tunnels, self-driving electric ferries might be the solution for city folk crossing integral waterways.



In fact, the university believes the technology could revolutionize public transportation in a sustainable manner, making use of existing urban waterways as new routes of travel.

“This is the first step towards a new form of micromobility in cities with urban waterways. In the longer term, the technology can be further developed to create green, flexible, and cost-effective transport along the entire Norwegian coast,” remarked Morten Breivik, Associate Professor at NTNU’s Department of Engineering Cybernetics.



“These ferries will be significantly cheaper to operate than staffed ferries, and can be more easily deployed on multiple routes as necessary. In the long term, the ferries may make it more attractive to live in the district, particularly for young people who want access to better mobility options,” he added.

The origin of the innovation—dubbed the miliAmpere 2—actually harkens all the way back to 2016, when the team created the first iteration of the prototype.

The new version of the ferry is significantly larger than the one before, equipped with better technology, and an improved overall design that will open to the public for three weeks.



Additionally, the updated ferry now boasts a variety of sensors, including rangefinders, cameras, laser vision, and radar to power its automation system, which prevents the vessel from colliding with land or other ships.

Plus, in terms of comfort, the team switched the boat’s railings and bench surfaces to wood in order to elicit a warmer feeling, with the more spacious miliAmpere 2 allowing passengers to feel safe and steady, unlike herrings in a barrel.

20 passengers are able to ride on the ferry at once, though the number has been limited to a maximum of 12 passengers on board at any time during the trial operation.

Following this trial, spinoff firm Zeabuz will be commercializing the ferry’s technology, collaborating with Norwegian ferry company Torghatten to develop a model that will enter use in Sweden next year.

According to designtaxi.com


Yun Ruan (Editor) - World Creativity Science Academy - WCSA